Price 3p SEPTEMBER, 1973
St. James’ Church BREAM
THE REV. E. C. MUSSELWHITE,
The Vicarage, Bream, LYDNEY, Glos., GL15 6ES.
Tel.: Whitecroft 376.
Vicar’s Warden: Mr. K. Kear,
People’s Warden: Mr. S. Macpherson,
Church Treasurer: Mrs. M. Johnson,
Electoral Roll Officer: Mrs. J. Miles,
Deanery Synod Representatives: Mr. K. Kear. Mr. E. Davies.
Messrs. K. Kear, S. Macpherson, E. Davies, T. Watkins, Mesdames W. O. Davies, L. Smith, J. Miles, M. Johnson.
Hon. Members: Misses B. Cowles and S. Johns.
Lay—Chairman: Mr. K. Kear.
PRIMARY LEADER: Mrs. S. Macpherson. JUNIOR CLASS: Mrs. K. Kear.
ORGANIST: Mr. T. Morgan.
MAGAZINE SECRETARY: Mrs. J. Miles.
SOCIAL SECRETARY: Mrs. J. Macpherson.
P.C.C. Secretary: Mrs. M. Thompson,
Those of you who regularly read the Bible Reading Fellowship Notes will have been reading of how Daniel and his young friends, who were taken captive along with the rest of the Jews to Babylon, found themselves selected to undergo a course of training for a career in pagan court circles. To this they applied themselves and appear to have been successful and to have distinguished themselves.
It is a reminder to Christians, that whatever our work and wherever we are placed, and however uncongenial our surroundings, as long as we are in that situation we must do our best as unto God.
These young men also distinguished themselves in another way. They early on refused to eat the pagan’s food. It wasn’t right for God’s people and Daniel was prepared to prove it to the unbeliever. “Let us eat our own food ten days, then look at us and compare us with the others.” The challenge was accepted. We read, “At the end of ten days, they looked healthier and were better nourished than all the young men who lived on the food assigned by the king”.
We miss the point of the story if we think it was simply a question of what or how to eat, though the Jews believed God has given laws concerning this. (And who is to say they were wrong? Dieting, and the growth of health food shops, point to a growing awareness of need to take care.)
Nor was it simply a matter of correct religious observance so that one would be able to - -say, “Look!. See how.much better we look and are than you.” Jesus, in later years told a story of a Pharasee who boasted about how good he was. God was not impressed.
No; as I read the story I saw it as a story about obedience, about loyalty to God.
I was reminded of the duty of a Christian to make a stand, of the importance of our Christian witness before the world. It is not for us to boast of our goodness; nevertheless we are not to be ashamed of the Gospel. Trusting and obeying we may let the world see arid judge the truth of our claim and to see whether we are the better for being Christians.
Quite honestly, I do not think there are all that many who come to church to boast of their goodness, about going to church, saying their prayers and being good. I do not know of any. This does not seem to be our problem at the parish church or in any of the other churches here. Our disappointment is that we have too many who say, “I don’t go to church as much as I should perhaps, but I don’t think it matters as long as I try to live a decent life and do no wrong.”
Well this will not do. Attendance at worship for praise and prayer and to listen to God’s word has always been one of the primary acts of witness by God’s people; one of the ways in which we declare to the world our love and loyalty to Christ.
As for our being decent and always doing the right thing, it must be said that there are too many professing Christians who think they are doing rather well without going to church, without reading their Bibles; without saying their prayers, without the help of other Christians.
Let me ask you. How much do you think you impress your neighbour? How much do you convince them of the truth of the Gospel, or even make them think so that they want to come and find out for themselves? Have they, do they, notice any difference? If God is not impressed with the Pharasee who goes to church, He is equally unimpressed with those who think they are good without going to church. So are those around you, especially if, under the pressures of today, we compromise our witness by being careless about the things we do and. say.
Long after Daniel, Peter wrote to Christians scattered throughout a pagan empire, “Be ye holy in all manner of conversation”. We are like Daniel and the early Christians, surrounded by unbelief and under pressure to lower our standards. We are to “shine as lights in a wicked and perverse generation”. We are “called. to be saints”. That is not to say we are perfect, that we can ever boast how good we are. A saint is one who has committed himself to Christ; who is really trying and trusting the Saviour. “Holy” means being “set apart”, being different for God.
Others will notice it as surely as, when long ago, they looked at Christians and saw “that they had been with Jesus”.
Your friend. and. vicar,
NOTES AND VIEWS
Sunday School: We are happy to welcome as an aditional teacher, Miss Edna Harper of Yorkley. Miss Harper has been a regular worshipper at our morning service for several years now, and we feel sure she will be of great help and influence in the school. — -
About four or five members are attending a Diocesan Conference at the beginning of October, Though they are few, it seems we send proportionately, a higher number than any other church.
A hundred of these have arrived and will duly be placed in the church to replace the present very dirty ones. Other items, including the lights will, we hope, be shortly introduced.
When all are in place, so to speak, we will hold a special service of thanksgiving. I have arranged for this to take place on Sunday, 4th November at 6 p.m., the Sunday following “All Saints? Day”. This seems fitting, when so many of the improvements and. additions have been made possible by memorial contributions. Canon Eric Evans has kindly agreed to preach that evening.
The parish church has received a gift of £100 following the instructions of the late Mrs Clara Skipp, given to her executors, Mr B. Wildin and Mrs L. White. It is with gratitude we acknowledge so welcome and generous a gift.
For Sale: (in aid of Church Funds)
2 Balastori Blinds 57” wide (1 each)
1 “ Blind 77’ wide
(nearly new - £1.50)
Please apply to Mrs L. Smith, The Bungalow, New Road.
This will take place on Saturday, October 20th at 2.45 p.m.
This is again our only effort of this sort this year. Can we repeat last year’s outstanding success? Please contribute anything you can to the stalls. Help in serving at these will also be welcomed. Has anybody any new ideas?
Thursday, October 4th - 7.15 p.m.
Sunday, October 7th:
(Items by the Choir)
News of the Sick:
Mrs Sheppard of New Road is at the Dilke Hospital. Mr O. Nelmes of High Beech is seriously ill at Lydney. Mrs Musselwhite has happily recovered and expresses her thanks to ail friends for their enquiries, prayers and visits.
From the Church Registers
John Anthony Pitcher and Jeanette Elaine Moore.
August 8th: William Charles Challenger, 81.
September 23rd & 30th: Mrs M. Thompson
October 7th: (Harvest)
l4th.& 21st: Mrs Luker
Nov. 4th: Mrs Elizabeth Edmunds
September 23rd & 30th: Mrs M. Thompson
October 7th: (Harvest)
14th & 21st: To be arranged
Oct. 28th & Nov. 4th: Mrs C. Cook
8-00 a.m. Holy Communion
10-00 a.m. Sunday School
11-00 a.m. Morning Prayer
(Holy Communion 2nd Sunday in month)
6-00 p.m. Evening Prayer
(Holy Communion 4th Sunday in month)
10-30 a.m. Holy Communion
(Mothers’ Union Corporate Communion
1st Wednesday in month)
7-00 p.m. Every 3rd Wednesday
Friday 7-30 p.m. Choir Practice
Thanksgiving for Childbirth, Baptism, Marriage, Burial and Cremation by arrangement with the Vicar.
NOTE: The Vicar will be pleased to call upon any parishioner when requested, whose needs, otherwise, may not be known to him.
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